GMAT Tutoring for 700+ Aspirants. Reimagined.

You might have noticed a few of the slick advertising techniques through which Big Test Prep firms suggest that most of their students score above 700 on the GMAT. 

Like all those photos of attractive, smiling models aside five-star “reviews” like “Never could I ever have blown up my score 160 points to the 780 that got me into the Harvard Business School without Big Test Prep.” 

Then there’s the purported Big Test Prep “700-Plus Guarantee.” Funny how that guarantee also applies to the word count in the fine print’s terms and conditions—and that’s just on the first page. 

Or how about another Big Test Prep classic: the “spinner?” That big, happy, bouncing animation that, in seconds flat, counts up all the digits from 700 to 790—over and over again? 

At Menlo Coaching, for 10 years we’ve helped our admissions consulting clients win acceptance letters from business schools like Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton—MBA programs with ridiculously competitive, stratospheric GMAT score profiles. 

Based on their first-hand experience with all the customer needs our clients told us their Big Test Prep firms were neglecting, we’ve reimagined GMAT tutoring. And instead of bankrolling an agency on Madison Avenue, we invested in developing a new tutoring program geared to the special needs of our clients—some of the most ambitious and competitive MBA applicants in the world. 

And now, you can take advantage of our new GMAT tutoring program, whether you’re one of our clients or not. But first, you deserve to know why you’ll find our new tutoring program more effective than those offered by the Big Test Prep companies, along with some of the ways we can help you the most. 

Our Tutors: a 760 GMAT Score Isn’t Bad—for a Start 

Plenty of GMAT tutors did superbly on the test. But that doesn’t mean they’re any good at teaching you their strategies—or at helping you apply them to the toughest GMAT problems. 

The test prep industry is full of test-smart people who are inexperienced teachers.   

We don’t hire their kind. 

Our tutors are experienced educators first, test whizzes second. We look for tutors with a proven track record coaching students who raised their GMAT scores at least 100 points. 

We even ask for documentation of their track records that we can check. How? The same way you would—by calling their students. 

No other firm in the test prep industry evaluates potential tutors as rigorously as we do. But that’s just for starters. 

That Infamous Phrase

Most test prep tutors kick off student sessions with an infamous phrase:

“What shall we work on today?” 

Trust us—nothing optimal ever develops from a tutoring session that starts this way.

Why? Experience demonstrates that test prep students typically make lousy judges of which strategies and concepts yield the largest score gains on the GMAT. 

Think about it: How could someone with limited GMAT familiarity ever know which topics the Graduate Management Admissions Council tests most frequently? Or which strategies solve the broadest range of problems most efficiently? 

They can’t know. It takes GMAT prep professionals years of experience to understand the trends and nuances among GMAC’s difficult test questions. That’s why GMAT students are usually the people who would least understand how best to allocate their tutoring time. 

Proprietary GMAT Tutoring Process 

The greatest value an experienced GMAT tutor delivers stems from their experience teaching the highest expected value strategies and concepts each individual student needs to master. 

To do that, our tutors employ a proprietary structured process that’s taken our test prep vice president Chris Kane nearly 20 years to develop and refine. His process encompasses three main components: 

  • Diagnostics. Our diagnostic evaluation rapidly assesses your proficiency with the strategies that matter most. Using proprietary methods, we swiftly identify which high-value topics you need to master, and even pinpoint precise exercises and solved problems your tutor can recommend that will help you the fastest.
  • Priorities and Sequencing. The diagnostic results help your tutor rank and optimize your learning priorities, and determine the sequence of the topics to target during your sessions. 
  • Individual Syllabus. Based on the priorities and sequence, your tutor develops a written assignment plan, customized just for you. It serves as a behavioral contract that gives the tutor permission to hold you accountable for completing your assignments on schedule. Students with demanding jobs or unpredictable travel schedules especially appreciate this accountability support. 

Hear from a GMAT Tutoring Student

Get a Taste of the Classroom

Changing Your Paradigm

Through this proprietary process, Chris and the team at Menlo are on a mission to change your paradigm about the value students should expect from a great GMAT tutor. Students like you deserve that value because, after all, you’re paying for it. And you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

Chris Kane, VP of Test Prep at Menlo Coaching

Learn more about Chris

The team takes that mission seriously. According to Chris, 

“In my experience since 2000, far too many students have been willing to let their GMAT tutors get away with acting like slackers. If you think about it, tutors who passively expect students to ask for topics and bring in all the test items result in the students’ doing extra work they should never be doing.

“Compliant and enabling tutors like these do their students a disservice because this practice can actually lower their overall GMAT scores by distracting them with suboptimal expected-value strategies and concepts. It’s a major reason you find so many tutors whose students don’t perform as well as they should on the exam. Tutors like these don’t recognize that such an unstructured approach fails to align with well-known pedagogical best practices that optimize the effectiveness of the tutoring process.

“Instead, it’s the professional responsibility of the tutor to structure each student’s optimal curriculum and learning plan, and to adjust it to reflect a student’s progress. That function is not the responsibility of the students; they shouldn’t be doing that work. It’s just not their job.

“Outside of the GMAT tutoring team we’re building here at Menlo Coaching, I’m not aware of any other GMAT tutoring program within the industry that currently offers students such a structured and comprehensive proprietary process. Because 98 percent of GMAT tutors in 2021 still fail to work our way, Menlo’s proprietary process could very well disrupt the test prep industry. Besides, our process might appear innovative, but it’s not entirely new. I based this process on a consistently effective approach that I’ve applied in my work as an expert GMAT tutor over the past 20 years, and plenty of outstanding reviews online from all my students prove that effectiveness.”

Specifically, What Differentiates Menlo’s Tutors?

Many people are surprised when they first learn about what Chris looks for when interviewing potential Menlo tutors. Believe it or not, within the rarefied world of GMAT prep educators, Chris treats a 99th percentile score on the GMAT as a basic qualification for the job. 

“Yeah, I know,” says Chris. “People always shoot me funny glances when I tell them that. 

“But you know what? It’s the truth. And once you understand what we’re trying to achieve here at Menlo, it makes perfect sense.” 

Chris first looks for someone who can quickly build a strong sense of rapport and camaraderie with him as a fellow like-minded GMAT expert who lives and breathes the exam, someone who’s “inside all the questions, looking out.” He continues:

“Look at it this way: In the entire world, there exist on average maybe about a thousand people in a typical year who score this high on the GMAT. OK? There aren’t many of us, and several from this crowd who went on to careers in the GMAT prep business already know each other. And we all possess a lot of shared experience in common together. 

“So if a potential tutor with a score like mine can’t quickly build rapport with me, how are they ever going to quickly build rapport with a new test-anxious student who’s feeling intimidated and nervous as hell about sitting for the exam?

“See, I’m not really selecting an instructor for their test score. To me, that’s necessary, but it’s not a sufficient condition for a great GMAT tutor. That test score alone isn’t enough of a differentiator for us at Menlo. Instead, I’m selecting tutors based on their abilities as educators, and for their mastery in helping people. Because in my experience over two decades, qualities like those are ultimately what matter most to GMAT prep students.”

Meet Ron Awad

For example, as an initial choice to join Menlo’s team, Chris had selected Quebec-based expert GMAT educator Ron Awad. Ron had earned consistently outstanding evaluations from the GMAT students of a test prep firm that’s one of the industry’s most recognizable global brands. And like Chris, Ron attributes his track record to his passions for graduate education and helping others. 

Before earning his MBA, Ron first earned an undergraduate computer science degree from McGill University in Montreal. He then went to work as a software analyst and trainer for Sun Life Financial at the firm’s global headquarters in Toronto. With CAD $1 trillion in assets under management and 41,000 employees, Sun Life ranks as one of the world’s largest financial services providers. 

But because he had scored in the 99th percentile on the GMAT, Ron didn’t go back to Sun Life after graduation in 2011. Instead, Ron switched into a new career as a GMAT prep course instructor and tutor.

Evaluations from one of Ron’s in-person GMAT seminars at a Hilton in Montreal portray him as astute and knowledgeable. For example, one of the students remarked about how “Ron Awad, the teacher, was great and enthusiastic. You could clearly tell he knew what he was talking about, and was motivating.” 

Another attendee wrote “I was very impressed with this course. I wish that I would have done this sooner. The instructor was awesome. He was very funny and patient with the class.”

Ron Awad
Ron Awad, GMAT Tutor

Learn more about Ron

Frequently Asked Questions About Menlo Coaching’s GMAT Tutoring Program

Who would benefit most from your GMAT tutoring?

Four groups of GMAT examinees should consider tutoring. These groups aren’t mutually exclusive; some examinees fall into more than one of the following categories. You might be one of them.

Examinees Who Needed a Good GMAT Score—Yesterday

The first group includes those who need a good GMAT score as soon as possible. For students who don’t have at least two to three months for one of our prep course sections, our tutoring program offers an ideal option. Learn about our GMAT prep scheduling alternatives in the FAQ below titled Which should I choose: your GMAT prep course or GMAT tutoring program? Help me decide.

GMAT Prep Course Students

Second, Menlo Coaching students currently enrolled in our GMAT prep course who would like more practice than the course offers should consider tutoring. As we explain below, even a few sessions with one of our GMAT tutors can amount to a worthwhile score-boosting investment.

Examinees who Seek to Surpass Their Good GMAT Score

Third, we frequently work with students who already scored well during previous GMAT attempts, but they seek to raise their scores even higher.

Now, why would an examinee who already scored at least a 700 on the GMAT try for an even higher score? Two very compelling reasons exist:

They want to win admission at an M7 school, or they need a scholarship.

M7 Applicants

The M7 comprises the world’s most popular business schools. Each year, more candidates apply to these “Magnificent Seven” business schools than to any others around the world.

The M7 includes:

  • Harvard University: Harvard Business School
  • Stanford University: Graduate School of Business
  • University of Pennsylvania: Wharton School
  • Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management
  • University of Chicago: Booth School of Business
  • Columbia University: Columbia Business School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT Sloan School of Management

Only minor differences exist in the GMAT averages among MBA students enrolled in these programs. Other things equal, these super-elite schools prefer GMAT scores from their applicants roughly in the range of 720 to 740. And believe it or not, some of their MBA admissions committees seek even higher scores from certain categories over-represented within the applicant pool.

Why? That’s because when evaluating candidates who represent categories flooded with a glut of applicants, such an admissions committee can afford to be even more selective when considering GMAT scores.

For example, our sense is that these committees probably need about a 750 GMAT score to justify admitting MBA applicants such as:

Candidates with work experience within the private equity industry. That’s not only because a generous supply of these applicants exists, but also because they usually attended an Ivy League university and passed the investment banking interview processes. They are almost always excellent test takers.

International applicants without United States citizenship who hold undergraduate engineering degrees granted by universities outside the U.S.

Although GMAT scores that average about 730 might at first sound stratospheric, many fail to realize that with instruction of the calibre we provide, a score that high is definitely within range for most examinees who had scored between about 650 and 700 during an earlier GMAT attempt.

Scholarship Applicants

In addition, these days many student debt-conscious MBA applicants seek to raise their scores in order to maximize their chance of winning scholarships. This trend applies to candidates applying across all MBA programs, and not just at the top ones. Nevertheless, a high GMAT score is especially likely to win a scholarship offer from a top business school that’s known to “buy” high GMAT scores to fortify its U.S. News and World Report ranking.

Learn more about how average GMAT scores drive modern MBA rankings in our popular article, What is a Good GMAT Score?

Students with Skill Challenges

Fourth, some students seek to shatter the 700 barrier, but they experience skill challenges with one or more of the critical subjects required for strong GMAT performance. In many cases, that’s because the quality of a student’s pre-college education negatively impacts their GMAT preparation and performance.

Of particular concern are the students for whom the quality of their education in critical subjects was suboptimal during primary or secondary school. On the GMAT, critical subjects include:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Statistics
  • English reading comprehension
  • English grammar and composition

Common reasons this might have happened include:

The faculty or school teaching these critical subjects fell below standards.

A student experienced persistent emotional, social, family or health challenges while taking critical coursework.

A student learned English as a second language outside of an English-speaking nation like the United States or the United Kingdom. Often the language skills of such students are not competitive with most GMAT examinees because they did not take college courses in English writing and literature in an English-speaking country. As a result, the degree of precision required to correctly solve GMAT verbal reasoning questions supersedes these students’ English proficiency.

Scoring well on the GMAT is certainly feasible for students motivated to aggressively overcome skill deficits in these critical subjects. However, for a student experiencing challenges with a critical subject like algebra, effective GMAT preparation will require more time, effort, and resources. What’s more, this preparation may be overly challenging or impractical without capable and comprehensive tutoring support like ours.

For that reason, we recommend tutoring to any GMAT examinee with such a skill challenge who seeks a 700-plus score. Typically, tutoring will emphasize the key topics identified by our proprietary diagnostic evaluation at the start of our tutoring program. We will then use our underlying resources to allow guided self-study to improve the rote skills, followed by one-on-one help for the harder concepts.

Why do your tutoring assignments and exercises emphasize genuine GMAT resources?

Discover why our GMAT program emphasizes GMAC’s official resources by reviewing our GMAT prep course web page. There you’ll find explanations in two sections:

  • Dirty Little Secret #1: Big Test Prep has a nasty habit of relying on inauthentic exercises and practice tests that don’t prepare students for the real GMAT
  • Frequently Asked Questions: What’s the difference between your GMAT prep services and those your competitors offer?
What’s the minimum number of tutoring hours likely to significantly boost my GMAT score?

Although every student is unique, in general we recommend at least ten hours of tutoring.

For most students, reviewing results from the diagnostic evaluation along with their proposed syllabus requires much of the first session. Moreover, our experience suggests it’s unlikely that a typical student would complete and review with their tutor enough high-value exercises during fewer than six to ten hours that would substantially boost their GMAT score. For these reasons, our minimum tutoring program package comprises six instructional hours.

Which should I choose: your GMAT prep course or GMAT tutoring program? Help me decide.

If you have read through our web pages but still aren’t certain, two factors should help you choose: Time and investment.

Time and Scheduling Factors

Scheduling is more of a factor for our prep course. Realistically, prep courses work best for students who have more time available. And typically, students in our GMAT courses need at least two to three months before they plan to sit for the GMAT.

Why? Our courses meet for five weeks. During 2021, five of these courses appear on our calendar. Recordings are available, but students should try to attend as many live sessions as possible, because live interaction with the instructor and fellow students is so important.

Furthermore, for a number of good reasons, usually we don’t permit students to join the course while it is in process later. So, working backwards, you’ll need enough lead time before your planned exam date to schedule all 35 hours of your course sessions, followed by at least 4 weeks to do numerous timed question sets and practice tests, as well as important review from the course sessions.

By contrast, scheduling for tutoring is more flexible. For example, students who for one reason or another have to take the GMAT in only three to four weeks pretty much need to rely on tutoring, because our courses run for five weeks. And even though our tutors have busy schedules, our tutoring sessions are usually easier to schedule than the prep course, which is much less flexible.

Investment and Value Factors

Now, let’s consider how the investments required for our GMAT prep course and tutoring compare.

As we point out on our GMAT prep course web page, our class is a great value because it’s a cost-effective solution. We price the prep course competitively on a per-instructional-hour basis, and we sell the course for a flat fee that makes budgeting straightforward.

And as we also emphasize on that page, our course can save you time and money—and in some cases, lots of time and money. That’s because the GMAT course provides a conceptual framework in an organized, systematic way that prevents most students from needing extensive private tutoring afterward. Furthermore, many students find that when they have questions, they can rely on collaboration with classmates through our discussion forums and learning management software, to which we provide access for course participants at no additional charge.

To compare, we sell our private tutoring on a per-hour basis. But for most students, tutoring will be a variable cost, meaning that the total cost varies according to how much time a student will need.

For example, students who had first finished our GMAT prep course tend to require the least tutoring (6+ hours). However, if a student did not or could not enroll in one of our prep course sections, comprehensive GMAT preparation through our tutoring program would typically cost that student much more than the GMAT prep course’s flat rate—plus any additional tutoring after the course.

Our experts couldn’t precisely predict how many tutoring hours you might need until after you completed our diagnostic evaluation, which is the first phase of our GMAT tutoring program. However, they’d welcome chatting with you informally to roughly estimate how many hours you may need. That’s always a free consultation, so there’s no reason for you not to chat with one of our tutors to discover how much time they believe would result in a good outcome for you on the GMAT, and to learn about answers to other questions you’d like to ask.

What’s the price of your GMAT tutoring program?

Our GMAT tutoring program requires a $400 per hour investment in your future. This rate only applies to your session hours, not for the time your instructor invests in preparing for your work together.

To hear more about how our Private GMAT Tutoring could help you, contact us at [email protected]

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